Professors With Guns? 01/19/2011
Recently the debate as to whether or not to allow college professors to carry a gun in the classroom has resurfaced.
My answer is: Why not? If the professor is a licensed owner with a concealed carry permit, his carrying a gun in the classroom would pose no more threat than when he is walking down the street.
Some people get the idea that the school would be forcing professors who have never touched a gun to “strap up” and head into to the classroom, where they would stand at the front of the class and suspiciously eye their students while fingering the butt of their gun which is slung in a leather holster strapped around the waist.
This is simply not true. It would simply allow already lawful and responsible gun owners to exercise the option to defend themselves and the students.
Deterrence can be just as useful as response, there's a reason shooting rampages don't happen at gun shows. How many fewer victims would the cowards of Virginia Tech or Columbine have had if there were somebody who could shoot back? If they knew that there would be a more level playing field, that they could be greeted with bullets instead of screams, would they have even attempted those acts?
Also, these are professors we are talking about. These are supposed to be educated, rational people. What is it about the myth of the gun that in people's minds turns a cultured Doctor of Shakespearean English into a raving lunatic bent on death as soon as he feels the cool grip of a pistol?
Are students afraid that a professor would use the weapon as a tool of intimidation? (“Sure Billy, let's talk about your paper's grade” replied Dr. Smith as he kicked his heels onto the desk and slowly twirled his gun) If you are afraid that a licensed carry professor would use a legal gun as intimidation, he or she is just as likely to use a much more common tool, your GPA.
If we can put a method of self defense in what would be considered an easy target to any coward looking to commit a shooting, we should. Maybe it will be enough to give the shooters pause, maybe it will stop them early in the crime, maybe it will save some lives.